In 2022, Turkey's import scene was dominated by mineral fuels, mineral oils, and their distillation derivatives, reaching a staggering $92.6 billion, closely followed by boilers, machinery, and mechanical appliances at $32.5 billion. Delving into 2021, Turkey's tariff landscape showcased a maximum rate of 225% and an average tariff of 4.44% across all products, with trade in services accounting for 11.11% of GDP.
Fast forward to February 2023, a report revealed a 6.4% decline in exports, totaling $18.635 billion, coupled with a notable 10.1% surge in imports, reaching $30.714 billion compared to the same period in 2022. This trend continued into January and February 2023, with exports rising by 1.4% to $37.992 billion, while imports surged significantly by 15.4%, hitting $64.32 billion compared to the previous year.
A deeper dive into February 2023 data, excluding energy products and non-monetary gold, showcased a 7.9% drop in exports to $17.52 billion, while imports increased by 1.5% to $19.982 billion, resulting in a foreign trade deficit of $2.462 billion.
Comparing February 2023 to its 2022 counterpart, the trade deficit surged by a substantial 51.4%, reaching $12.079 billion, marking a decline in the export-to-import ratio from 71.4% to 60.7%. Manufacturing industries dominated, contributing 94.4% to total exports in February 2023, while intermediate goods accounted for a significant share of 77.3% in total imports during the same period.
Germany led the way, contributing $1.697 billion to Turkey's exports in February 2023, followed by Italy, the USA, Russia, and the United Kingdom, making up 30.9% of total export figures. Meanwhile, Russia led the import front, bringing in $4.214 billion in imported goods in February 2023, followed by Switzerland, China, Germany, and Italy, making up 45.9% of total imports.
In fact, figures for February 2023 unveiled an 8.1% drop in exports and an 8.5% decrease in imports compared to the previous month. High-technology products in manufacturing industries represented 3.6% of total exports during this period.
Under the special trade system, February 2023 witnessed a 9.0% decrease in exports, amounting to $17.058 billion, and a 9.2% increase in imports reaching $28.905 billion versus February 2022, leading to a widened trade deficit of $11.847 billion, with exports covering 59.0% of imports.
Recent updates until October 2023 signalled a narrowed trade deficit of USD 6.7 billion, primarily driven by manufacturing (93.4%) and agriculture, forestry & fishing (4.6%). Germany and China stood out as top exporters and importers, respectively. For January-October 2023, the trade deficit saw a 3.2% increase, totaling USD 93.9 billion.
Stay tuned for the next update on April 28, 2023, for more insights into Turkey's trade scene!
Fig.1: Balance of Turkey's Trade (Jan 2023-Oct 2023)